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McGaughey Hoping For Better ‘Perform’-ance At Pimlico | 2023 Preakness Stakes News
Perform (Maryland Jockey Club)

McGaughey Hoping For Better ‘Perform’-ance At Pimlico | 2023 Preakness Stakes News

Perform isn’t the first horse trained by Shug McGaughey that has been supplemented into a major stakes. It’s costing the colt’s owners $150,000 to take part in Saturday’s Preakness (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

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But the Hall of Fame trainer is hoping the outcome turns out better than it did the other time his owners reached into their pockets to get a horse into a big race.

“He didn’t run any good,” McGaughey said of Vanlandingham, who was supplemented into the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at a cost of $360,000 and promptly finished seventh.

McGaughey said there’s good reason to think Perform could justify the six-figure gamble of owners Woodford Racing LLC, Lanes End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone and Edward J. Hudson Jr.

The late-developing colt is peaking at just the right time.

“If he runs his race, I think he’d have a big shot,” McGaughey said. “He hasn’t given me any reason that we shouldn’t do it.”

McGaughey said Perform’s owners began thinking about the Preakness shortly after the colt won the Federico Tesio Stakes at nearby Laurel Park April 15. But since he hadn’t already been nominated to the Preakness, it would require them to pay a $150,000 supplemental fee.

“I texted (Lanes End’s) Bill Farish four or five days before we had to put the money up,” recalled McGaughey, who was prepared to make a case for the Preakness. “I said, ‘Before I start running my mouth….’”

But before McGaughey could finish typing the words, Farish cut him off.

“I thought we’re running in the Preakness,” McGaughey said Farish told him. “And I said, ‘Hey, I don’t have to worry about it now.’”

It took Perform six races just to break his maiden, with one of his losses coming to Mage in a Jan. 28 maiden event at Gulfstream Park.

But the colt won his first race involving two turns (March 11 at Tampa Bay Downs) and followed that performance with another winning effort in the Federico Tesio.

“His race in the Tesio was good,” McGaughey said. “He came out of it really good. He had a really good work a couple of weeks ago at Belmont. And then he came back and had a real good work again on Sunday. He shipped down here in good shape. So, you know, give it a whirl.”